Magnolia Market & Easter Inspiration!

My husband took me to Magnolia Farms in Waco, TX recently. I am a huge fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and I was so excited to finally make it to Waco to see the Silos and visit Magnolia Market!

Misty and Peter Magnolia Sign

I love Joanna Gaine’s style and love the way she and Chip banter with one another. You can tell that they love one another, love their family, and that they enjoy what they do. Isn’t that what life is all about? Love God, and love others!

Magnolia Market Flowers

Shopping at the Silos was so inspiring. There were beautiful vignettes all throughout the store and plenty of photo opportunities.

Dried Cotton Flowers

We were at Magnolia Market on a Friday, and it was a gorgeous day, but the crowds were pretty large. Which made it difficult to see everything. If I have a chance to go back, I think I will go on Tuesday morning, and hopefully, it won’t be as crowded. I loved all of the flowers inside the shop and the gardens outside the shop.

Large Flower Pot

Just in time for Spring, one thing caught my eye and I knew that I needed to take it home was the boxwood wreath I saw hanging on the wall. I knew that it would make a great addition to my front door, and would take me from Spring to Fall. Here it is pictured below with some topiaries I had in my entryway and these precious little bunnies I found at Home Goods. What do you think?

Easter Front Door

This got me thinking that Easter is only one month away, and I have barely gotten everything taken down and put away from Christmas. However, I really want our Easter Celebration to be special as special as our Christmas this year. I want to focus on the Resurrection power we have through Jesus Christ and am praying about ways to make this an important part of our time together as a family.

Magnolia Farms Boxes

This year I decided to pull out my parent’s wedding china and use it for our Easter celebration. I miss my parents so much and have fond memories of eating off of these plates throughout the holidays. I look forward to incorporating this into my Easter Table this year.

Easter Place Setting

I threw together this centerpiece with stuff I had from previous years, and just love the way this bunny looks nestled within the eggs and flowers.

Easter Table Center Piece

So what about you friend? I would love to know what traditions you celebrate at Easter. Do you have anything special planned this year? Leave me a comment, and let me know what you are doing for your Easter Celebration!

 

Dreaming of the Holidays

Every year I look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. This is simply my favorite time of the year, but this can also be the most stressful time of the year for me! Holidays can be so full of joy and excitement, and other times they can be hard. Unmet expectations, families problems, the loss of a job or missing a loved one can all cause stress and heartache.

A few years ago, I began dreaming and planning for Christmas in October. I set everything up so that it was ready before Thanksgiving. I am so thankful that I did. We enjoyed a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday, and the following Monday, my dear sweet Mother-in-Law unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord. I am so thankful that my house was ready for Christmas, because I can’t imagine being able to try to get everything together for Christmas in the stressful grief filled days that followed.

I know most people wait until the day after Thanksgiving to begin setting things up. I used to be one of those people, but I found that if I waited until after Thanksgiving, then I started my favorite time of the year stressed, exhausted, and to worn out to enjoy it!

I told y’all about my friend Debi Chapman, who wrote the e-book Holiday Happenings, I love how her books begins.  If you missed that post check it out here! Debi begins her book by saying,

“First, we dream.”

“List people whom you want to serve in your home this holiday season.”

I love that!
Who do you want to serve in your home this month?

When I began dreaming of the holidays, I knew I wanted to have a brunch with the ladies in my Bible Study group. So I began planning, and I love that way it turned out. With some planning and creativity you can set a lovely table.

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 Here I use my china with these gorgeous red placemats, and poinsettia napkin holders. I found these holly glasses at the dollar store several years ago, and use them every year for all of my December gatherings. Setting a beautiful table doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Use what you have, and be on the look out for inexpensive or sale priced items to add to your collection each year.

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To the right of the plate is a bookmark with a pen that I purchased for each of the ladies.

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For the coffee station I found these fun stir sticks!

The best part of all of this is the connection made, and the fellowship we experienced.

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Who are you planning to serve in your home this month?

Start dreaming now of how you can make this a special time. The Holiday season is a perfect time of year to hone your hospitality skills. Once our homes are decorated for Christmas, why not enjoy this excellent time to invite friends into our homes, and share the good news of the gospel.

Thanksgiving Preparations!

Today I want to share some of our Thanksgiving preparations! I want to start out by saying thank you to all of my blog readers! I am so encouraged by you all, and I thank God for each of you!  I pray that you will enjoy a bountiful feast with your loved ones, and that your heart is filled with praise to Jesus our King!

Our dining room table is set for a thanksgiving lunch celebration with our immediate family, along with one lovely addition. Jacob’s girlfriend Jane will be joining us this year!

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While out shopping this year I found these amazing chargers, and cute little leaf shaped bowls to add to our table this year! I paired that with dishes we already own, and vintage classes from Peter’s childhood. I just love the way the place settings turned out. So fun!

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This year we are mixing things up a bit, and instead of having TURKEY OR HAM, we are having PHEASANT AND DUCK! Along with a wild rice stuffing, 5 cheese macaroni, whiskey Glazed carrots, a healthy version of green bean casserole, crusty bread with onion jam, along with pumpkin muffins, and buttermilk pie for dessert. Yum! I am so excited.

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Peter grated a mound of cheese for me, and I made a Béchamel sauce, and viola. A hearty 5-Cheese Macaroni make ahead side dish, that I topped with Panko bread crumbs, and popped in the refrigerator for the big day!

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Peter’s brother and his family will be joining us in the afternoon on Thanksgiving day. We will enjoy a more relaxed setting with the kids. Leaving lots of room for the adults to talk, and the kids to play.

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A few years ago I started doing crafts with the kids, and it has become a holiday tradition. This year we are painting wooden Christmas ornaments.

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I also picked up these fun coloring, bingo, tic-tac-toe pages to keep the littles busy.

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As we prepare our homes, our tables, and our food, let’s not forget to prepare our hearts. We have so much to be thankful for, and in the midst of our busyness, let us keep our eyes fixed on the giver of all good gifts.

 

Psalm 100 – A Psalm for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

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Have a Blessed Thanksgiving! Be sure to follow my blog for a chance to win the Listen, Love, Repeat! bundle. Stay tuned for more holiday inspiration and giveaways from now until the end of the year!

How are you preparing for the holidays? What traditions are you planning to incorporate? Are you doing anything new this year? I would love to hear from you!  Leave me a comment  and let me know what you have planned.

 

Listen, Love, Repeat!

As the dust settles after a very contentious political season, one thing that is for sure is that our nation is divided. In the midst of this division, how should Christians respond? The answer: Listen, Love and Repeat!

I just finished reading Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World by Karen Ehman. Wow! What a timely and relevant message for us to consider and apply in our lives today. I was first introduced to Karen Ehman this past spring when I attended the She Speaks Proverbs 31 Women’s Conference and joined the COMPEL writer’s training program. When the opportunity arose to review Karen’s new book and Bible study I was thrilled to do so!

In Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World, Karen encourages us to be mindful, and look beyond ourselves and listen for ways we can can bless others. This book is based off of the principle, Love God, and Love people. In Matthew, we see the Sadducees ask Jesus questions to try to trap him theologically. When Jesus silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees continued to engage in ongoing debate with Jesus.

 

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40 ESV

This command comes from Deuteronomy 6:5,”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”  Love God, and love others. In these two commandments we have the sum of the law. Devote yourself to God by loving Him, and then show grace, love, and kindness to others.

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Karen has identified a major problem that affects society today. This problem will likely  plague the next generation, if something doesn’t change. In the crazy fast-paced selfie culture we live in, how can we love God and love others well? Karen shares both biblical stories and personal examples, along with practical wisdom on how to love others well.  Karen shares memory verses for making a difference, recipes for reaching out, quips and quotes, and much more.

I am excited to share one copy of Karen’s book, Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World along with a study guide and DVD! To be eligible to win, simply follow MistyPhillip.com, anytime between now and December 1, 2016! To follow MistyPhillip.com enter your email address into the text box on the side bar of my website.

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Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World (Zondervan, November 15, 2016) is Karen Ehman’s ninth book and has a Bible study with DVD with it. Karen is an encourager to women and her life work is to help women live their priorities and to love their lives.

 

Karen is a Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker and New York Times bestselling author. She is also the Speaker Track Director of the She Speaks Conference and a teaching staff member of Proverb 31’s writers training program COMPEL.

In Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World Karen talks about listening for heart drops – a heart drop is when a person, either directly or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into his or her heart – and what to do when we hear them. When we take notice of those who are in our presence we are able to mimic what some refer to as the same ministry Jesus has. Karen says, “Jesus’ real ministry was the person he found standing in front of Him” and asks, “Who is that for you today?”

 

Love Your Neighbor!

I hope you enjoyed my latest posts on preparing your home for the holidays. Stayed tuned, because there is more where that came from. I love this time of year, and I am excited that I get to share it with you! If you missed them, you can check them out here Holiday Preparation and Inspiration! and here Our Home – A Sanctuary.

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Today, I am excited to share some wisdom from my friend, author Michelle S. Lazurek and tell you about her beautiful new book on hospitality. She is going to share Jesus’ command to love your neighbors. I am blessed with the best neighbors! When it comes to neighbors, we won the lottery, and they make it easy to love them. But in the crazy busy world we live in, how can we follow Jesus’ command to truly love our neighbors? Michelle gives us a couple of great ideas.

Three Ways to Fulfill Jesus’ Command to Love Your Neighbors -Michelle S. Lazurek

Amy Lively, author of How to love your Neighbor (Without Being Weird) says, “I had every excuse for not loving my neighbor, and a few I’m sure God had ever heard before– but I couldn’t find an asterisk or exception to get me off the hook. After months of arguing with God, I finally knocked on my neighbors’ door and invited her over for coffee.  When it was my neighbor’s turn to knock on my door I found they were just as nervous as I was. We learned each other’s names, we laughed, we talked, we shared, and these neighbors walked out of my door as friends.”

But in this overextended, overstressed, independent world, how do we initiate relationships with our neighbors? 

Here are a few ways you can fulfill God’s most important command without tacking it onto an already overscheduled life:

Write a note– In this day and age, people are more suspicious than ever about what might be lurking inside a welcome basket. Gone are the days when a neighbor could give a basket brimming with luscious fruits or candies without resisting the urge to split each goodie in half to look for mysterious materials. Sometimes a quick note and gift card can suffice. A simple note stating you are happy to have them in the neighborhood and giving them a night off can speak volumes in your love for them. This may pave the way for a neighbor to knock on your door to express their gratitude—and for you to open the door to a new relationship.

Start a Facebook group– Conduct a simple search on Facebook to see if our neighbors utilize the social media site. Create a group of neighbors and discuss topics on how to improve your neighborhood, put out the feelers for interest in get- togethers and discuss pop culture topics as a way to get to know your neighbors’ likes and dislikes. This gives you something to talk about when you bump into your neighbors on your nightly walk or an opportunity to roll down your window when you see them going to their car. Every conversation matters and brings you one step closer to a new friendship.

Crafters Unite– I’m not terribly crafty, but even I love an excuse to get out my adult coloring books and crayons and relax. Do any of your neighbors paint, draw, read or scrapbook?  Ask to meet to create together, rather than separately.  If you don’t participate in these hobbies, is there one you have always wanted to explore? Meeting a neighbor is the best reason ever to learn a new skill or indulge your crafting side on a regular basis.

We are all called to love our neighbors as ourselves. Now you have a reason to merge beloved skills with a desire to fulfill Jesus’ greatest commandment.

Michelle is the author of An Invitation to the Table – Embracing the Gift of Hospitality.

Jesus spent a chunk of his ministry eating and drinking with the “”sinners and tax collectors”” of the world. If we strive to be more like Jesus, shouldnt we do more of what he did?

Hospitality involves more than the domesticated event we have grown accustomed to practicing. It is an embodiment of all the Christian life stands for: a gesture of love, opening up our hearts and lives, and sacrificing luxury and security for the chance to display Gods glory. To receive hospitality from others is an invitation to receive Gods transformative power to work in their lives.

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Readers will ask themselves these questions:

  • What is hospitality?
  • Is it something I am, or something I do?
  • How do I offer my life as a gesture of hospitality?
  • What are some practical ways for me to display and receive hospitality?

For more from Michelle, visit www.michellelazurek.com

An Invitation To The Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality is available on Amazon now!
http://www.amazon.com/Invitation-Table-Embracing-Gift-Hospitality/dp/0891123431?ie=UTF8&keywords=michelle%20lazurek&qid=1465485410&ref_=sr_1_3&sr=8-3

Do you have other ideas about how we can love our neighbors? How do you plan to open your home for hospitality this season. I would love to hear from you!